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WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW

Weekly GRACE NOTES

A Message from Kathy Panther

Worship, grow, serve. Love God and love others. Help those who are less fortunate. Random acts of kindness. These are all themes that run through my head as I worship and participate in activities at River of Grace, listen to Christian radio, and think about my role as the team leader of Service Ministry.

Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesian Church to strengthen and encourage them. In his letter, he refers to the church as a body, as a family, and asks them to work together with unity of purpose. He admonishes them to put on the full armor of God and take a stand against the devil's schemes. While many of us will likely not be called upon to take up a sword and put on armor in the literal sense, what better way to combat evil in the world and take a stand against the devil's schemes than by showing the world that we love God and love others through random acts of kindness and caring for those in need?

There are many opportunities in life for random acts of kindness and I have heard many touching and encouraging stories on the radio and from our church family. We at River of Grace also participate in community service opportunities that help those less fortunate, or thank those who provide us with invaluable services. In September we will once again be collecting items and assembling gift boxes for the teams at four area fire and rescue stations to thank them for keeping us safe and responding quickly during emergencies. As we move into the winter months we will be participating in a coat drive, and of course, the Christmas angel tree. Our July dinner at the homeless shelter in Manassas was a big hit, with both the residents and our River of Grace team, and we will be providing more meals at the shelter. Our August blood drive was so successful that the Red Cross has asked us to host another one in January.

Last week a group of us gathered at the church to work on a wonderful project making blankets that will be distributed to the homeless in Prince William County this winter. The blankets are being crocheted out of "plarn" (plastic grocery bags cut and made into yarn balls). Those of us with no skills in crocheting focused on cutting the plastic bags and making the "plarn" balls, and those who crochet or eager to learn are making the blankets. It was an amazing evening of fellowship with a purpose and a fun time meeting new people and deepening relationships. I was especially impressed with Gretchen and Chris who quickly learned the crochet stitch and began making their blankets. Gretchen was concerned that her blanket was not looking quite right, and said, "I want to know that the person who has my blanket likes it." Her "person who has 'my' blanket" really hit me. The thought that a real person who is homeless this winter might be using a blanket that I made to keep warm touched my heart and stretched me beyond my comfort zone assembling the plarn to learning to crochet so that I can make a difference, even if only for that one person who has "my blanket".

We are putting on our armor at River of Grace and helping to make the world a better place, sometimes one person at a time. Love God and love others. Worship, grow, serve.

In Christ's Service,

Kathy Panther

NEW SERVICE PROJECT

SERVE Ministry Needs Plastic Grocery bags!

Our NEW SERVICE PROJECT is underway!

We are making blankets for the homeless out of plastic grocery bags!

Recyclable, washable, water-repellent and warm, this is a wonderful way to help the homeless and reuse all those extra plastic grocery bags we all collect!

It's easy, fun, and rewarding! Here's all we need:

- lots of plastic grocery bags

- volunteers to stay after church to learn how to make them!

This is an ongoing project, and no experience is necessary!

Women's Bible Study NEW DAY!

Please note our new day:

We meet the first THURSDAY of each month, at 7:00pm, here at the church.

We are continuing our study of Esther.

We are a group of women seeking to grow in our relationship with God and our relationships with one another, and we would love for you to join us!

COMMUNITY SERVICE Ministry

Our Community Service Ministry is requesting donations of non-perishable food items. The shelves at the SERVE pantry are getting bare so we'd like to be able to provide ample food supplies for those in need. Please drop off any non-perishable food items in the collection container downstairs.

To learn more about this importantministry please see Kathy Panther.

Thank you for being part of our mission to

Love God + Love Others!

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